Great backstory for the adult Zorro, aka Don Diego de la Vega, whose adventures were spun out in serial form by McCulley from the 20 s to the 40 s Allende renders a compelling saga at the turn of the 18th century with vivid characters from many walks of life and cultures We get a believable vision of how an upbringing could instill the necessary balance of compassion, crafty duality, and gueriilla warfare skills that imbue the intrepid hero of the downtrodden She takes you on a fun ride in close form to classic tales such as Dumas wrote, but with a tongue in cheek charm that shows when the narrator periodically speaks directly to the reader Allende carfts an enriched upbringing for Diego de la Vega in Alta California, near the future Los Angeles, with a formal education, riding and fencing lessons, etc, provided by his landed Spanish rancher father, and his learning of Indian survival outdoor skills and spiritual values from his Shoshone warrior mother and shaman grandmother De la Vega s empathy for social and political victims is nicely rooted by Allende with his witnessing of atrocities against the Indians and, later, gypsies and slaves The origins of his habit of falling in love with women he cannot win is made into a nice heart to the story, consistent with a classical romantic trajectory in which the hero never quite achieves fulfillment His development is nicely rounded out through the teenager befriending both gypsies and pirates and through his experiences in several violent skirmishes to avert threats to his family and people he cares about Thus, our mythic hero is made human and fondly real. I have been reading this book for almost a year and I m still only halfway through it so the likelihood that I m going to finish it are diminishing by the moment.I love the idea of this book The story of Zorro from his childhood Wow, what s not to like Except the story is told rather than shown There are paragraphs that take up full pages in a trade paperback no less and pages and pages between bits of dialog This is ungodly slow reading How anyone can take a swashbuckling hero like Zorro and make him dull is beyond my imagining Except I don t have to imagine it I ve seen it Right here. A Swashbuckling Adventure Story That Reveals For The First Time How Diego De La Vega Became The Masked Man We All Know So Well Born In Southern California Late In The Eighteenth Century, Diego De La Vega Is A Child Of Two Worlds His Father Is An Aristocratic Spanish Military Man Turned Landowner His Mother, A Shoshone Warrior At The Age Of Sixteen, Diego Is Sent To Spain, A Country Chafing Under The Corruption Of Napoleonic Rule He Soon Joins La Justicia, A Secret Underground Resistance Movement Devoted To Helping The Powerless And The Poor Between The New World And The Old, The Persona Of Zorro Is Formed, A Great Hero Is Born, And The Legend Begins After Many Adventures Duels At Dawn, Fierce Battles With Pirates At Sea, And Impossible Rescues Diego De La Vega, Aka Zorro, Returns To America To Reclaim The Hacienda On Which He Was Raised And To Seek Justice For All Who Cannot Fight For It Themselves Si no lo hubiera escrito Isabel jam s hubiera considerado siquiera acercarme a una historia sobre el tan famoso Zorro Nunca me llam la atenci n en lo m s m nimo Recuerdo que cuando chico me enganchaba con alg n capitulo de la serie, pero nada m s Sin embargo, en este libro Isabel crea unos personajes s lidos y los hace vivir aventuras geniales Es una maldita maravilla Ac , entre nos, el arco de Juliana no me gust como termin , pero se lo perdono a la autora Eso no opac para nada la genialidad del libro en su totalidad It takes a certain kind of skill to write a boring book about a character like Zorro, and apparently, Isabel Allende possesses such It also takes a certain brashness to pronounce your protagonist as fun in the first paragraph and several times following that and then fail to produce any real evidence of it.I was excited about the prospect of this book a great pulp hero like Zorro in the hands of someone with Allende s lit cred It d have to be great, right It took maybe 20 30 pages to disabuse me of that idea Allende s narrator sets out to tell the origins of Zorro starting with events years before his parents met, and then proceeds at the pace and in a style fit for a medium sized biography We re less than 60 pages from the end before a 20 something Don Diego de la Vega returns from Spain to California and begins his career as America s first superhero in earnest This would be something like making the audience sit through 90 minutes of Aaron Smolinski and Jeff East working on the farm with Glenn Ford and Phyllis Thaxter before Christopher Reeve catches Margot Kidder and the helicopter and then foils Lex Luthor s big nuclear missile into the San Andreas fault real estate scam in 15 minutes.Again, it read like a biography, and an unimaginatively written one at that He did this and then he did that He was this adjective, and was that often Over and over and over no showing, plenty of telling For a couple of paragraphs on either side of a section of his life escapades, the narrator would break in with a little commentary and bordered on developing an engaging voice, but that would disappear within a page It had to be the slowest 390 page book I ve read in years I kept at it, waiting for her to pull it around once the setup was finished What a mistake Save yourself from following in my footsteps. review in English below Uma boa hist ria, com um s lido enquadramento hist rico, que decorre na Calif rnia ainda espanhola e em Barcelona, no princ pio do s culo XIX.Achei a narrativa demasiado descritiva no sentido em que os acontecimentos s o nos contados duma forma distanciada, sem emo o e acabei por s me entusiasmar a partir do meio do livro N o gostei da forma como o narrador se dirige directamente ao leitor nem me fez grande sentido quando se descobre quem Acho que talvez tivesse resultado melhor se a autora tivesse usado esta personagem para nos contar a hist ria na primeira pessoa.No geral, foi um bom entretenimento A good story, with a strong historical background, that takes place in California still Spanish at the time and in Barcelona, at the beginning of the 19th century.I thought the narrative was too descriptive the events are told in a distant manner, without emotion and I only got enthralled half way through the book I didn t like how the narrator addressed the reader and it didn t make much sense to me when we finally find out who is it I feel that maybe it would have worked better if the author had used this character to tell us the story in the first person.All in all, it was good entertainment. Este libro no trata sobre una aventura de El Zorro, si no de los or genes de este mito As nos enteramos de la raz n por la que el protagonista elige un zorro y no un perro o un le n De qui n le ense a esgrima, de las luchas contra los indios de su padre, un soldado espa ol, y de un mont n de aventuras mezcladas con el incre ble realismo m gico en el que tan bien se maneja Isabel Allende Que una autora consagrada se atreva con un personaje tan conocido me parece muy valiente Imaginaos si P rez Reverte, por ejemplo, hiciera una novela cuyo protagonita fuera el Capit n Trueno Yo leer a ese libro, t no Quattro stelle e una punta di nostalgia.Bella iniziativa, quella della Allende assumendo l identit di Isabel de Romeu , di raccontare la nascita e le prime prodezze di un personaggio che per lungo tempo stato l eroe dei nostri pomeriggi davanti alla tv.Penna magistrale, come ormai ci ha abituati con i suoi romanzi cos la storia scivola via e ci ritroviamo prima nel rancho dei de La Vega alla periferia di una neonata Los Angeles, in California, poi in una nobile tenuta nella bella citt di Barcellona, in Spagna.Ed proprio qui che Diego riceve dal Maestro Escalante le prime nozioni di scherma, per poi ormai abile spadaccino trasformarsi in Zorro, la volpe, il suo animale totem, in nome della giustizia, a protezione dei pi deboli.Bella anche la figura e la storia di Bernardo, Indios, amico fraterno di Zorro, fidato consigliere e compagno di avventure, ma diversamente dall altro molto pi assennato e concreto.Il coraggio e l affetto li accomunano.Beniamino dei bimbi ma anche i grandi non disdegnavano, ne sono sicura , per parecchi anni ha alimentato la fantasia dei pi e le maschere di carnevale sono la testimonianza, nel tempo, dell effetto che le sue avventure hanno prodotto nell immaginario collettivo.Con questo romanzo torniamo indietro, torniamo alle origini, torniamo a sognare, almeno per un po Stagliata contro la luna piena videro la sagoma nera del misterioso uomo mascherato sul suo magnifico destriero Alla prossima, signori ZRC 2019 Effetto domino 7 RC 2019 Alphabet Titoli Z RC 2019 Lo scaffale traboccante Alfabeto autori A come Avventura Isabel Allende Is it fair to give only 3 stars to such an exceptionally talented writer as Allende In my defense, I have to say that my judgement only applies to this particular novel Otherwise, I am very much a fan of her work and in my eyes she will always be five star writer As you might guess by my marking, this is my least favourite novel by Isabel Allende I ll get straight to the point It just doesn t seem to flow as effortlessly and naturally as her other novels I m assuming that it is because here, Allende had to face certain restrictions She couldn t let her imagination run completely free because she had to adapt it to the legend of Zorro True enough, she gave this story her flare Nevertheless, it didn t feel fundamentally Allende, I didn t get the same feeling I got while reading her other works It it is still a good book It is imaginative, it is lyrical and it is beautiful However, I think she is one of those authors that works best starting from a blank page I m not saying that it was a bad decision on her part to write this one I don t regret reading it, so it could be said I m actually satisfied that she was brave enough to tackle the Zorro legend and tried to make it dance to her beat The way Allende vowed her story around the legend of Zorro is very interesting, but that all being said, I just don t think this is her best work.The whole concept of the book is pretty cool inhaling new life into this hero I was looking forward to reading this one Moreover, Allende certainly did shad a fascinating light on this legend In some ways her portrayal does adds some depth to Zorro She makes him come to life Nevertheless, Allende achieves this by filling in information and vibe around him, than by really developing the Zorro himself I have to say, that having read this novel, Zorro remained an enigma for me Not in a way that Lord Jim did, because here I didn t have a feeling that it was intentional For example, in Conrad s Lord Jim, the protagonist retains a sense of mystery about him You re never completely sure who he is, but in the context of the novel, it makes perfect sense In this case, I didn t have a feeling that Zorro was supposed to remain a mystery, here it seems like a weakness in the story telling While I was reading this novel, I felt like Zorro was restricting Allende She was getting on, doing her thing, working her magic, but this larger than life character, would somehow disrupt her incantations and cause her magic to retreat What am I trying to say Perhaps simply, that my opinion is such it s a good novel, but it has its flaws As I explained, the main problem I had with this book was the protagonist I just don t think he was portrayed that well, he remained a bit one dimensional He is supposed to be the centre of the novel, but it doesn t feel like it I did like the story created around him and I already alluded to that Trust to Allende to develop a great family saga anytime and anywhere I liked how Allende made Zorro biracial, that added a new layer to his personality and made him, somehow, even quintessentially South American That whole concept of his mixed origin was extremely interesting, but it wasn t enough for me, as a reader, to get into his character Something was missing.Actually, it is the Zorro s mother and grandmother that, as characters, impressed me the most and those two have certainly got stuck in my memory The other characters that caught my attention were the friar at the start of the novel and Zorro s best friend Another thing that surprised me is how often he, the Zorro s best friend, takes attention from Zorro himself I know Allende meant to make the Zorro human, but she needn t have made him so depended on others Is it good to have a hero that s not really sympathetic although he is in the focus of the story Zorro was often well I have to say it lame It is not that he was an anti hero, he just didn t seem very proactive or interesting I think that is probably what bothered me the most Could it be that Allende writes best when she centres her stories around female characters I would have loved to read even about Zorro s mother and grandmother Speaking of female characters, Zorro s love interest is a well written female character, but she also takes the spot light from him and they don t really interact well together.I really enjoyed the first part of the novel and while the second part left me a bit confused, I can t say that I minded terribly the process of reading it At times I felt that the story was getting out of hand, but if I will be honest, I can t really say that I minded all the digressions and the parallel story telling Allende certainly employed the magic realism well enough in this one as well It is just that I lacked a sense of groundless My personal opinion is that the novel would be better if it was told from perspective of a woman, or even if it was titled differently With the Zorro title, we re expecting it to be about Zorro and learning that is not really about him when you re half a way into novel is confusing Everything is centred around Zorro the narrative, the plot, the characters yet he proves to be elusive and not in the pyschologal phylosophical way that Dorian Gray or Lord Jim are, it is like she is not sure what to do with him So, Zorro is not the novel s strongest point Still, there are many things I liked in this novel Here are some of the novel s perks that I particulary enjoyed an interesting introduction into Indian culture the well played dynamics of the relationship between Zorro s parents personal relationships reflecting the relationship between the natives and the Spanish the fascinating story of Zorro growing up many wonderful stories parallel to the main narrative a large cast of interesting characters.The idea of Zorro s being torn between cultures is quite exceptional if you ask me In many ways, its potential was fulfilled I did enjoy reading this novel, yet I must admit there were times when my attention wandered Maybe because of the fact that a lot of things that happen didn t seem very plausible, but this one didn t keep me glue to its pages, not in the way other Allende s novels have The novel has many things going for it, for instance, there are plenty of funny moments in the story and I quite enjoyed those Certainly, there s a sense of humour in the novel Perhaps I m too harsh in my reflections upon Zorro Perhaps the author did mean for him to be in the background, maybe the moral of the story is that everyone is a hero I can understand why perhaps Allende wanted to make the story less about Zorro and about people That being said, as the story progressed I kept losing my interest because of the way the story was composed The narrative is structured around Zorro and if he as character isn t interesting, what is there to keep our interest Yes, there are other stories and other character, but we still need something to hold it all together As the novel progressed, it continued to be filled with actions and events Even if here was enough going on to grab my attention, there certainly wasn t enough going on to make me emotionally involved in the story Yes, there were some good episodes, but that s about it until the end of the novel To conclude, I would recommend this novel to Allende s fans because I think there is enough of her in it to be enjoyable The writing in this one is pretty decent, all of its flaws set aside On the other hand, if you haven t read anything by Allende, don t pick up this one, because it is not her finest hour, if you know what I mean Instead, pick up The House of Spirits, Of Love and Shadows, or Daughter of Fortune, any of those should be able to blow your mind away Not this one I m afraid This one is a case of a good novel that didn t quite live up to its potentional. When Magical Realism Met SuperheroesTalk about an origin story.If it were not for being Zorro s story, this would be considered quite classy literature Maybe it still is I am not familiar with the critical reception It is finely detailed and expertly constructed, weaving history and legend seamlessly Allende almost pulls it off, but the awareness of the ending seeps into the rest of the book, spoiling all the better moments It might be an unavoidable thing and Allende deserves praise not blame for the attempt, but still the awareness of a type of non literature keeps intruding into the reading experience, trivializing it in so many subtle ways It is interesting to note how a humanization process is increasingly present in the recent wave of blockbusters about super heroes Spiderman, Batman, now the entire Marvel universe Critics, as Zizek says, rave about how these films move beyond the original flat comic book characters and dwell in detail over the uncertainties, weaknesses, doubts, fears and anxieties of the supernatural hero, his struggle with his inner demons, his confrontation with his own dark side, and so forth, as if all this makes the commercial super production somehow artistic In real life, this humanization process undoubtedly reached its apogee in a recent North Korean press release which reported that, at the opening game on the country s first golf course, the beloved president Kim Jong II excelled, finishing the entire game of 18 holes in 19 strikes One can well imagine the reasoning of the propaganda bureaucrat nobody was going to believe that Kim had managed a hole in one every time, so, to make things realistic, let us concede that, just once, he needed two strikes to succeed.The thing with origin stories though, is that everything in it will be understood from a reference point of the future and hence it cannot escape cliches if not in the telling, then in the understanding The why of the origin makes this inescapable as all events have a tendency to be connected to one event the classic all roads leading to Rome , a sort of prophesy fulfillment type of plot This becomes quickly the worst sort of genre plotting, anathema to literary readers who need greater subtlety Of course this applies to biographies too, but they have the saving grace of being at least true by assertion But origin stories, or fictional biographies for that matter with a known end point become unavoidably contrived Allende does her best, but cannot sidestep her readers in the end.Anyway, to the finely tuned fan, this is a new sort of delightful Magical Realism as applied to superheroes, for chrisssakes What I want next is a Batman written by Pynchon.
Isabel Allende Llona is a Chilean American novelist Allende, who writes in the magic realism tradition, is considered one of the first successful women novelists in Latin America She has written novels based in part on her own experiences, often focusing on the experiences of women, weaving myth and realism together She has lectured and done extensive book tours and has taught literature at s
- 677 pages
- El Zorro
- Isabel Allende
- 10 February 2017 Isabel Allende